Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta).

A town in Negros Occidental in the Western Visayas has reported seeing the Pied Avocet, a rare migratory bird with a sharp upcurved bill whose sighting was first reported in Puerto Princesa almost 32 years ago.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) told the state-owned Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) was sighted for again after a long time along the coastline of Barangay Latasan, E.B. Magalona in Negros Occidental on January 17 during the Asian Waterbird Census.

Staff from the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc., Christian Casio, who was with officials from the DENR and the local government, as well as Tayo Ang Kalikasan ambassadors and other Tanza National High School students under the direction of adviser Aleli Rosario Hugos, observed the waterbird wandering on a deserted fish pond alongside some black-winged stilts.

“It was our first bird census experience and it was a privilege to join the activity. We were lucky that the Pied Avocet showed up when we were there,” Hugos told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday.

Photo from DENR Western Visayas

She added that they felt the excitement when Casio pointed the bird to them and was able to take a photo of it.

The first Avocet sighting in the Philippines was documented on March 8, 1991, in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

The presence of Pied Avocet during the waterbird count in E.B. Magalona town was the first record of the species in Negros Island and Western Visayas, based on the data check conducted by forester Rosie Pablico, chief of the Conservation and Development Section of the DENR-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office.

According to animalia.bio, Pied Avocet is a large black and white wader, which breeds in temperate Europe and across the Palearctic to Central Asia then on to the Russian Far East, and is a migratory species, which in most winter in Africa or southern Asia.

The Avocet species has been categorized, evaluated, and listed as of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which estimated its number to be ranging from 280,000 to 470,000 individual birds around the world.

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